Sunday, February 14, 2016

Mouse in da House

You might call me weird, you might even call me crazy, but I like to think that I know how to take advantage of a teachable moment. Right now our school looks like a mini invasion of mice. Frankly, I can't blame them. The walls of at least six ground room classrooms are entirely knocked out leaving the school at a balmy 30 degrees and opening the flood gates to tons of cold furry friends. Most rooms in the building have maybe one furry critter while my neighboring classroom has multiple. Her friends were starting to become brave and were coming out and walking all about while she was teaching her class. As you can imagine, this was making her classroom a constant nightmare of kids yelling and random hallway walks to let adults come in to "catch" the mice. We put down a few traps overnight and BINGO caught one! The head construction guy came and put it in a box and drilled some holes in it. Almost everyone he showed it to was either grossed out or scared of it. I however, thought he was pretty cute. He actually is a baby mouse but looks much bigger in this picture. I have had lots of different pets throughout my life (fish, aqua frogs, dogs, cats, hamsters) but this mouse was a first for me.
I saw him as something that the kids would LOVE and a great opportunity to teach about mammals. Am I supposed to be teaching about mammals right now? Well...umm...not technically, but who could pass up this opportunity. As expected, my students were very excited. Don't worry, the lid is taped on. He can't get out and the kids can't get in. Some of them had never seen a mouse before and I decided that it was my job to give them an up close and personal viewing. Surprisingly, no one was scared (thank goodness). I started to talk to them about how he was a mammal and that he had fur and was warm blooded (yada yada). One of my second grade students said, "A mammal?" Like he had never heard of such a thing. I went on to explain that there are different types of animals and that our super fun friend here was a mammal. We talked about why and made a web. It was a great real-life learning experience. I think that we will write letters to him or persuasive letters to our parents to let us keep him as a classroom pet. Should be fun! They can't wait to see him again on Monday and I can't wait for them to see his new home! 
Hopefully he'll live until the end of the school year (at least). He should make the classroom a little more interesting. Now if only we could agree on a name... 

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